Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

DDA outlines controversial development proposal

8. March 2005 • Murph
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Tonight at 6pm, the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority will present it’s recommendations for three city-owned parcels to the City Council. The presentation is meant to be informative, precedes the regular Council meeting, and is not an actionable part of the meeting.

The recommendations, as outlined in the Ann Arbor News, include:

* Selling the existing parking lot at South Ashley and William streets, behind the former Kline’s Department Store, for private, mixed-use development, including retail, office and residential. Officials said boutiques and even a movie theater are possible uses for the lower floors of what could be up to a 10-story development.

  • Razing the crumbling parking garage at First and Washington streets and selling the property to someone who would construct a retail and residential building of up to six stories. DDA officials said that development would include affordable housing aimed at young professionals and a city work force. It could also include some subsidized units.
  • Building a parking structure of up to six levels at First and William streets. DDA officials said the idea is not to add parking, but to consolidate the nearly 500 existing spaces from the three sites into one.
  • A park a little larger than Liberty Plaza along railroad tracks at the northeast corner of First and William streets.

Opposition to the plan has already lined up in the Friends of the Ann Arbor Greenway and the local chapter of the Sierra Club, who would like the entirety of the First and William site to be turned into parkland, along with two other city-owned sites, as part of an Allen Creek Greenway. The Friends’ webpage includes a notice reading,

The Downtown Development Association (DDA) will present it’s high-rise development plans for three city properties on Monday, March 7th @ 7:30 PM in City Council Chambers. Come and join us in support of the full-scale Greenway, not a 22 millon dollar taxpayer-funded unnecessary parking structure and development in floodplains.

The presentation should be televised on CTN (channel 16) at 6pm tonight, and is open to the public, though I don’t think there is a public input session scheduled.



  1. Sorry for the late notice. I’ll be attending and trying to score some graphics / more official materials from the DDA speakers. There’s some info on the DDA’s website but not much.
       —Murph    Mar. 7 '05 - 06:19PM    #